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2019 Jan 23 e-News

posted Jan 23, 2019, 8:10 PM by Douglas County Democrats

Are you upset about the dirty tactics of the president, holding our government hostage until he gets what he wants?

 

Are you concerned about the local Federal employees and their families who live here and provide essential services, but who are impacted through this shutdown?   Some are furloughed, receiving no paycheck (2+ paydays, so far), and their important work is going undone.  Some are in "essential" positions and go to work every day with a smile on their face, but they’re not being paid.  They may have savings, credit cards, family or friends who can help.  Or maybe NOT.  They have bills and loans to pay, transportation needs, medical care/medications to purchase, obligations, pride.

 

These are people who work for the State Department, the Justice Department, the Transportation Department (GSA), the Agriculture Department (US Forest Service, US Conservation Service, US Forest & Sciences Lab, US Farm Service Agency/Tree Fruit Research Lab), the Department of the Interior  (US Fish & Wildlife/Nat'l Fish Hatcheries, BLM, Nat'l Park Svc )Department of Homeland Security (USCIS, TSA , US Coast Guard), and so many other organizations.  Or they may be people who hold contracts with one of the agencies.  (this list was created based upon a few phone calls and brief review of our local phone directory).  These are our friends and neighbors.  

 

Although specific local data is difficult to parse out, in part because the affected offices have no one answering their phones, we have received the following information from the office of our WA State Regional Labor Economist.  These comparison numbers are for the first quarter in 2018.

 

Chelan Co. 11 Federal offices/agencies, 512 Federal workers*, avg wkly wage $1277 (total qtrly wages: $8,499,865)

Douglas Co, 8 agencies, 232 Federal workers*, avg wkly wage $1715 (total qtrly wages: $5,172,067)

Okanogan Co, 11 agencies, 558 Federal workers*, avg wkly wage $1383 (total qtrly wages: $6,436,503)

*some individuals work for agencies not affected by the shutdown: post office, Social Security, etc.  

 

After one month, roughly $7 million in unpaid wages has already gone unspent in our region.  If the shutdown persists, more than $20 million per quarter will be lost to our regional economy.

 

What can we do to help in the short-term?

 

·        Call Senator McConnell's office tonight and tomorrow (202-224-2541).  Ask that he end the shutdown, period.  No wall funding.  Personalize your message, be respectful.  Leave your name and ph#.   The Senate will vote Thursday on two funding bills: one that holds the government hostage to border security, one a clean Continuing Resolution—putting government back to work.

·        Offer to help Federal workers who cannot pay their bills or put food on their tables.  Let Federal workers know you care about them (support them in person or online; don’t buy into the Republican rhetoric), value them, demonstrate that you are willing to help.  Ask how you can help.

·        Give a gift card for goods/essentials/cash, $20 maximum per person per donation, $50 aggregate per year from any one source.  Ethics rules apply: https://www.doi.gov/ethics/gifts?fbclid=IwAR0vdOIZ0nh1q7-uSUm7HhDerPXYLDrWG0-9pzBFDE7qDTjqdgTZJVXuzCk.  Yes, there are rules for all Federal employees, furloughed or not.

·        Donate to our local food banks (food or monetary donations) and let Federal workers know they can use the resource—most have never needed to tap into the resources of poverty or unstable income.  Even one less grocery bill will help.  The Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council manages the NCW Food Distribution Center, which collects and distributes food through 9 regional food pantries.  Alan Walker, Exec Director of C-DCAC, received authority yesterday to distribute Federal food commodities to affected Federal employees and their families.  Use this link to donate or learn more:  http://www.cdcac.org/food-banks-pantries.html.  You can drop off donations at Dem HQ and we'll take them to C-DCAC!  (Tue 12-4, Wed 10-2, Thur 3-7)

·        Call Senator McConnell's office again (202-224-2541) Ask that he end the shutdown, now.  Vote for a clean Continuing Resolution (CR)Warning—the phonelines are busy, inboxes full.  The Democratic House has voted.  There appear to be enough votes in the Senate, but McConnell just needs to do his job!

 

What can we do in the longer-term?  Help register every voter.  Help make sure each voter votes.  Run for office.  Elect Democrats.

 

Thank you to all who showed up for the 2019 Women+s March, whether in person or spirit.  All speakers left us with important messages.  Save your signs because we know there’ll be an opportunity to bring them out again.  It was a good feeling to join in solidarity with so many others, working for a better future for all. 

 

Your chairs and state committee members will attend the WA-Democratic Central Committee reorganization meeting in Olympia this weekend.  Watch for updates about this important meeting and other events in the next eNews letter.

 

Bill Miller, Chair, Democrats of Chelan County

Karen Keleman, Chair, Douglas County Democrats

Suellen Harris, Chair, 12th LD Democrats

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